Now-a-days, IAM has become an essential component of organizational security…
… because of its versatile characteristics and features.
IAM helps organizations to automate a lot of security tasks easily.
Let’s dig into the different IAM types and how the most common ones differ among each other.
Here Are The Different Types of IAM:
Mainly, there are 3 types of IAM used to secure the system.
Let us explore these now.
Almost all organizations come with different classes of users with varied identity needs.
Some use IAMs for their workforce or employees, some leverage IAM solutions for their business partners and others for customers.
To meet these different requirements, we need 3 different types of IAM.
#1. B2B IAM Solution:
It is one of the most specialized verticals of identity management solutions.
Its security postures will be different because large organizations leverage different technology stacks.
In this scenario, custom-made identity solutions often lag or struggle, as they don’t have the ability to scale-up when multiple clients get on-boarded.
To manage such scenarios, organizations leverage the power of B2B Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution.
By utilizing the potential of IAM solutions, organizations can rapidly combine various security postures under one framework to secure various technology stacks.
#2. Workforce IAM Solution:
Organizations make use of a wide variety of applications/tools to enable access to multiple organizational resources.
Organizations either create such solutions in-house or purchase these tools or services from third-party providers.
With these workforce IAM solutions in place, IT admins can control user access to sensitive information within the organization.
Apart from providing privileged access management, IAM solutions also cater to various authentication techniques like single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication, and password-less authentication etc.
It is the most widely used form of IAM solution.
#3. Customer IAM (CIAM) Solution:
This is a sub-category of IAM (Identity & Access Management) that helps improve customer or end-user experience and security concurrently.
It appends digital identity-based authentication and authorization techniques for all the customer-facing applications (apps).
Organizations can render CIAM through interconnected identity APIs on web services and applications.
CIAMs are pretty popular as various web applications and websites authenticate their users through such solutions.
CIAM vendors cater to customized solutions as per the business requirements and policies.
Organizations can leverage Customer Identity and Access Management solutions either as-a-service or on-premises.
Difference Between Workforce IAM & Customer IAM (CIAM):
Since both these Workforce IAMs and Customer IAMs are frequently used by organizations, here is a common differentiation you can witness about these two.
- Workforce IAM is concerned about the identities, internal to the workforce of the organization
- Workforce IAM can help the organization to manage internal employee access and identities
- Workforce IAM is managed by the IT department of the organization
- Workforce IAM renders lower complexity in access privileges, which makes it advantageous from the administrative perspective
- This solution manages all the personal data of the employees within an organization. That is why data regulations are less and simple
- Workforce IAM helps improve the authentication and authorization techniques of employees within the organization’s or corporate system
- They have reduced attack surface and are less prone to cyber threat
- Organizations can integrate workforce IAM solutions with ERP systems, biometric/RFIDs, or other Human Resource (HR) systems
- Apart from identity management and its security, workforce IAM also focuses on internal security with remote work features
- Here, more focus is given on organizational resources & security along with smooth authentication of workforce/employees
Customer IAM (CIAM):
- CIAM is concerned with the identities, external to the organization, but about the customers of that business/organization
- CIAM can help an organization manage all the security and authentication-related problems related to customer identities on one or more platforms
- Customer IAM can be managed by the business that is leveraging it and by the provider who is providing this IAM service
- CIAM has a more complexity in setting the access privileges for customer-facing apps. This makes CIAM solutions difficult from the admin perspective.
- In CIAM, customer data handling is subject to a variety of global privacy and data protection regulations. That makes the entire data protection and regulation system more complex
- CIAM helps improve customer login experiences across different applications and platforms
- They have large attack surface as they reside openly in the cyberspace and hence is more prone to cyber threats
- Organizations can integrate Customer IAM solutions with payment systems, CRM, e-commerce, advertising, and other online web-apps where a digital authentication is needed
- Apart from identity management, Customer IAM focuses on rendering emphatic user experience
- Here more focus is given on user experience (UX) along with simple and easy-to-use user interface (UI).
Features of Different Types of IAM:
Most of the IAM solutions come with all these essential security features, functionalities, and characteristics that make it a robust framework.
#1. All these three types of IAMs come with various authentication techniques like federated SSO, multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication, hardware-based authentication, risk-based authentication, etc.
#2. IAMs also use principles of least privileges and zero trust architecture models to render the best security to organizational resources, employee identity, and customer data.
#3. Modern IAM solutions provide analytics and visual insights on their dashboard to get a comprehensive idea about the users who has authenticated to the application and to check the authorization techniques that are enabled.
Apart from that, the analytics feature also keeps track of various IAM roles, IAM policies enabled, and the other IAM security settings.
We hope this blog has given you a clear idea about the different types of IAM solutions and the differences between Workforce IAMs and Customer IAMs.
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